How to workaround "The attempted operation cannot be performed in the current state (Powered on)." error

Posted by Paul Braren on Dec 20 2012 in
  • ESXi
  • HowTo
  • Virtualization
  • I'm using VMware ESXi 5.1 and the vCenter 5.1 appliance, and I'm logged in to vCenter with the vSphere Client. I simply try to power on a VM. Up pops this error:

    “The attempted operation cannot be performed in the current state (Powered on
    .”) Occasionally a powered off VM thinks it's already powered on. Nobody likes restarting the ESXi server itself, that's a badge of shame. It's fun to leave things running for 100+ days, even in a home lab. Who wants to disrupt all your other VMs? Note too that the vCenter Service restart []( doesn't work for this particular problem either. The workaround this time around is to clone the virtual machine, assuming you have vCenter, or the far easier [vCenter Server Appliance](, already installed. I'll admit, this isn't a proper fix really, it's merely a stop-gap measure. I'm currently unable to locate a real fix. Try a Google search for relevant hits over the last year with this [search](,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.1355534169,d.aWc&fp=6eb1946313ccd7d2&bpcl=40096503&ion=1&biw=2560&bih=1296), and you'll see what I mean. So here's the way around this issue, fast, easy, yet safe: **1) login to vCenter with the vSphere Client** Right-click on the virtual machine you have the issue with, choose clone **2) try to power up your cloned VM** I'd rather have a proper, permanent fix to this intermittent issue. If you've located a fix, and even better, tested one, please let us know, by dropping a comment below! The video walk-through/demonstration of the workaround is right here:
    --- **Dec. 27 2012 Update:** Site visitor Marcus kindly took the time to add his comments below, suggesting an alternative approach that I just tested to also work! Right-click on the VM, choose "Remove from Inventory", then use Datastore Browser to find the.vmx file again, right-clicking, then choose "Add to Inventory", now you're able to power on.